A guide to 5S

A woman holding a broom talking to a person in a Squid Game costume. The room is littered with Halloween decorations.

Improve efficiency in your organisation with 5S. This tool allows you to save time, improve safety, increase productivity, and boost job satisfaction. It can be applied in a physical workplace or any electronic environment where information is stored. 

What does 5S mean?

5S is a Lean tool that enables you to improve efficiency in your organisation. This tool takes you through a series of 5 stages, each beginning with the letter ‘S’. It can be applied in a physical workplace, or any electronic environment where information is stored, and provides a simple way of achieving change in any setting.

Why use 5S?

There are many benefits associated with the creation of a visual workplace and implementing 5S, these include:

  • Saved time
  • Improved safety
  • Increased productivity
  • Greater job satisfaction

“Undertaking a physical 5S of our head office has transformed our working space to the delight of our many colleagues. Not only do they have a more conducive, effective, working environment but there is now sufficient space to welcome others organisations into our workspace.”

Liz Walker, Finance & Corporate Service Director at The Children’s Society

How to use 5S

The steps need to be executed in sequence and completed in full before moving onto the next one. Whilst it is simple to understand and plan, it is far from easy to implement and to do it properly; you need to involve everyone who works in the affected environment. The 5s’ are:

  1. Sort: Sort the things you need to do your jobs from the things you don’t
  2. Set: Arrange the things you need in the right place
  3. Shine: Inspect the things you have to ensure they are fit for purpose
  4. Standardise: Create standards for your sort, set and shine (how often should you inspect, labelling, etc)
  5. Sustain: Create an audit to regularly review and correct deviations from your standards, update standards when required

Examples of how organisations have used 5S

Here are a few examples of how our clients have used 5S from:

If you need any help setting up your Kanban board, get in touch. Use our contact page or email hello@ad-esse.com.

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